New research shows that sleeping pills taken by millions of people across the world could treble the risk of lung cancer.

As of 2008, in the United States, a study found that 5.2% of American adults were taking the drugs.

The study warns that taking the drugs on regular basis is linked to a higher rate of deadly tumors.

300,000 people participated in the study which revealed that sleeping pills raise the risk of cancerous growths in the mouth, nose, and windpipe.

Scientists assert that the more sleeping medication a person takes and the longer they are on them, the greater the danger.

People who are regularly using sleeping pills at least twice a week were nearly two and a half times more likely to develop cancer of the airways than non-users.

In participants using the drugs for three years or more the risk was also increased.

This 20 year study is believed to be the largest study to highlight the cancer risk from using medicinal sleep aids.

Researchers analyzed the records of thousands of public sector employees. Additionally each participant was regularly quizzed on lifestyle topics, including sleeping patters and the use of all types of sleeping pills and followed up over nearly 20 years.

The results showed only a slight increase in the risk of all types of cancer if sleep drugs were used regularly.

Numerous smaller studies have suggested a link but were too small to draw firm conclusions.

At the moment the research does not prove that popular pills are carcinogenic.

In the report researchers warn that further research is urgently needed to determine whether current sleep medications increase cancer risk.

Gerry Oginski
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